1. Collective Noun is building a mobile game weʼre calling Torokiki.
Weʼre a group of friends who work in Wellington's web and cultural heritage
communities. We got together about 6 months ago - in April - with the idea of
making a mobile game using images from New Zealandʼs digital heritage
2. The team is made up of: Alex, Cj, James, Jem, Miranda, Rob, Sam and me-
3. Weʼve been working online and meeting in person almost every Tuesday for the
last six months:
•" We used National Library video conferencing gear to talk to HITLab in Chch;
•" We met at Hashigo Zake for a while - mooching off the free WiFi.
•" Weʼve been holding hackfests - CJ and Alex have a big ﬂat with lots of good
Work was done using IM, Video conferencing, and dropbox - ʻcos we couldnʼt
always get the whole team together in person to work.
The bottom line is that weʼve all been working on this project in our spare time, and
just for fun. Itʼs awesome to work with these people, and that is what brings us
together every week.
4. The game weʼve ended up with uses quests... ...to shape player behaviour... ...in
response to historical images... ...creating their own text, photo, video, or audio
We call the game Torokiki - this a Maori verb meaning: ʻto sprout afresh, re-
emerge, re-establish, reappearʼ. (For short we sometimes just call it Toro, which on
its own means: ʻto visit, stretch forth, stretch out, extend, survey..ʼ.)
I think this gives a strong sense of the feeling weʼre trying to create for the game,
itʼs about both re-surfacing and re-visiting Wellingtonʼs history.
5. The game highlights some of the amazing images that have been taken of
Wellington over its history. We were inspired by the photos of Wellington available
through the digital collections of museums, libraries, and archives.
Wellington cityʼs neat compact geography makes it easy to just go across the city
in an afternoon and visit many of the places where these photos were taken!
6. Viewing these great images is striking way to see how much life in our city has
- or even just how it stays the same!
Through Torokiki, we want to draw a really strong connection, between the
Wellington of the past, and the Wellington of today - interpreted and made playful,
through the eyes of our players.
7. Weʼre not the only people whoʼve seen the possibility of connecting these amazing
digital heritage collections with the urban environment.
Here are some of the other cool projects weʼve heard about that are happening
overseas - with similar themes to ours:
•" Museum of London - “Street Museum”: an iphone app which shows users
hertiage photos superimposed over present day streets.
•" SepiaTown & HistoryPin (Google project) - both websites that encourage
users to submit (or pin) their own old photos to a google street view map mashup.
Like the Street Museum project, we begin by highlighting awesome heritage
images as our primary focus –
But what makes our project a little bit different to these others is the way weʼve
focused on encouraging players to respond creatively and playfully to these
images using a quest system.
8. Players complete simple quests which guide them in creating their responses
along clear thematic guidelines.
These short quests - designed to be ﬁnished in just an hour or two of wandering
the city - shape our playful exploration of Wellingtonʼs photographic history.
A basic quest has a single, clear story to tell and there are 3 to 5 challenges which
must be completed to ﬁnish the quest.
9. To submit a response to a challenge, players select an image that takes their fancy
from a curated set of heritage photos.
Thereʼs no ʻrightʼ image to select, youʼre just looking for something might be
nearby, or sparks your creativity.
Depending on the playerʼs idea or inspiration, they can submit a photo, record
video or audio, or enter text.
10. We think the most interesting and memorable photos are those taken with your
friends, and photos with people in them, so weʼve tried hard to design the game to
cater for people playing together.
11. Sam built us a really neat ʻback-endʼ that we use to create quests and curate sets
This has been really useful to us on the content side of the game, because weʼre
able to adjust quest features ourselves.
Eventually, we hope to open up this quest creation toolkit so others can create
quests of their own - either as a reward for playing, or in partnership with speciﬁc
interested local groups - around particular themes and events.
Weʼd like to wherever possible tie quests into physical events - so we can use real
prizes, encourage people to come together, and run scavenger- hunt type
adventure days. Weʼve been talking about releasing a game creation package, so
that groups can run events using Torokiki.
12. So, in summary:
- a group of friends have been working on a mobile game - which draws on
heritage images(made possible by the digital collections of institutions) - to make a
quest-based game - which people can hopefully soon use to create quests of their
Thanks for watching, you can ﬁnd out more at http://collectivenoun.net/torokiki-